russian constructivists


Les Amis (+others) as Artistic Movements (11/?)

Enjolras  -  Constructivism

“The [Constructivist] movement was in favour of art as a practice for social purposes. Initially it acted as a lightning rod for the hopes and ideas of many of the most advanced Russian artists who supported the revolution’s goals. But also crucial was the desire to develop a new form of art more appropriate to the democratic and modernizing goals of the Russian Revolution. Constructivists were to be constructors of a new society.”

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Wassily Kandinsky - Unstable Compensation [1930] by Gandalf
Via Flickr:
In 1922, Kandinsky joined the teaching staff at the Bauhaus, where he would remain for over a decade. A radically progressive establishment, the Bauhaus was dedicated to the pursuit of aesthetic theory, and as a gathering place for many of the key figures of Modern art and design in Germany, it provided the perfect backdrop to Kandinsky’s own theoretical and artistic experimentation. His focus on strict geometric forms during this period also reflects the influence of Russian Constructivist art, to which he was exposed during the war years spent in Moscow. With artists such as Kandinsky and Moholy-Nagy, Constructivist art gained in international stature and became an important artistic force in Germany, where geometry was accepted as a universal artistic language.

[Sotheby’s, London - Oil on board, 45 x 33 cm]

Russian artist El Lissitzky, born this day in 1890, originally trained to be an architect.

[El Lissitzky. Proun 19D. 1920 or 1921. The Museum of Modern Art, New York. © 2015 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn]


Vladimir Tatlin was a leader of the Russian Constructivist movement, and the Tatlin is the only existing chair from this period.

Tatlin" chair, designed 1927

Chrome-plated steel, leather. 31 in. (78.7 cm) high. Manufactured by Nikol Internazionale, Italy.


Ivan Sergeevich Nikolaev, Communal Housing for the Students of the Textile Institute in Moscow, (1931)

 The Communal Housing of the Textile Institute of Moscow became the first solo project for 28 year old Ivan Nikolaev of the OSA group; the contract awarded to him was a part of a larger project that included three student campuses in the (then) remote areas surrounding Moscow. The contract specification defined a modest maximum construction cost and building volume (50 cubic meters) per student. Any communal facilities, from staircases to libraries, counted towards the quota and decreased the actual living space. While all architects addressed these constraints by reducing available living space, Nikolaev’s proposal was the most radical of all.

 Nikolaev’s principal design rule was a strict physical separation of common study space, public services (with cafeteria, showers and storage rooms) and the living space. Thus the building was H-shaped: a public services block connected a 200-metre long, 8-storey dormitory with a 3-story study block. Since all the students’ possessions - from textbooks to day clothing - had to be stored in the lockers of the public services block, Nikolaev reduced dormitory rooms to sleeping space only. Initially, a standard sleeping cabin for two had a very small area, 2×2 meters, but 3.2 meters tall. It had no windows and was connected by the door to a long corridor running along the exterior wall. Nikolaev attempted to compensate for the shortage of space with elaborate ventilation system. This proposal seemed too radical even for the Soviet avant-garde, and the cabins were increased to 2,7×2,3 meters with proper windows.

 These windows ran the full length of a 200-meter building - narrow continuous bands of glass without apparent structural support; they were only 90 cm high (110 cm after 1968 reconstruction). The residential block relied on a steel frame structure. Initially Nikolaev designed all load bearing in steel, but due to metal rationing he eventually replaced internal floor supports with wooden girders. The building had elevators, but they were reserved for cargo deliveries only. Instead, the students had to use three spacious staircases - two in the living block and one in the public services building. The latter had an unusual triangular shape, with smooth ramps instead of stairs, as in contemporaneous work by Le Corbusier. These staircases are sometimes compared to the spiral ramp of the Guggenheim Museum.

 According to Nikolaev, the lives of the students should have been regulated in a nearly military communal fashion. After a common wake-up call all the students proceeded to common physical exercise areas (either a gym in winter or an open area in summer); at this moment the residential block was to be locked until late evening. After exercise, the students took a shower and dressed up in the public service locker rooms; after a breakfast in the canteen they followed their college schedule - either in off-site auditoriums or in the study block facilities. Nikolaev suggested injecting ozone into ventilation ducts at night and even considered sedating students to ensure they all fall asleep in due time (Russian: “не исключена возможность усыпляющих добавок”, “do not rule out the feasibility of sleepening additives”). Except for centralized sedation, this paramilitary order was actually maintained in the first years of operation, but later the regulations were eased up
Vulture TV Awards: The Year’s Best Comedy Is Bob’s Burgers

Loren Bouchard’s great Fox comedy about a family-run burger joint snuck up on people. It’s much quieter than its Sunday-night time-slot companions, The Simpsons and Seth MacFarlane’s laff factory, but over the last few years it has come to feel like the heart and soul of the evening. Every now and then there’ll be a flurry of cinematic daring, such as a Hayao Miyazaki tribute, ridiculously drawn-out slow-motion action sequence, or a musical number scored like a Gilbert and Sullivan operetta and cut like a Russian constructivist montage. But for the most part the animation is charmingly simple — like the late, great King of the Hill, it truly is a sitcom that just happens to be drawn. 

Thank you, Vulture!

Untitled (2014) Digital Collage by CUTS. 

For more surreal collages follow CUTS.

Jason Kearney constructs surreal pieces of modern digital collage art under the name CUTS. Aside from that he is also a visual artist that creates polemical art using mixed media, dealing primarily with current issues that are considered to be misrepresented in contemporary politics and the mainstream Irish media. CUTS gathers imagery from varied sources, both online and in print - Russian Constructivist posters, American 1930’s advertisements, retro postcards, 15th century Japanese paintings, medieval art … any isolated part from other artist’s works that catches his eye, he brings these to new life. From there he seeks to build a narrative within a three dimensional plane, to construct a surreal world in which the viewer can step into. In addition to repurposing other artists material that spans centuries CUTS has recently begun using his own photography to create geometric digital collages.
CUTS is planning some exhibitions in unique locations in Dublin early 2014, otherwise -   WebsiteFacebookShop    Open for collaborations and commissions for posters, album covers etc, to suit your budget.